Silicon Valley Bank targets Denmark, where lenders don't need licenses
A California bank with deep ties to the U.S. venture capital industry is targeting Denmark for growth, as a lack of regulatory constraints on lending makes the country a preferred destination in Scandinavia.
Silicon Valley Bank, a unit of SVB Financial Group, says it's budgeted a minimum of about $200 million to lend to Danish technology companies. Erin Platts, head of European, Middle East and African operations, says the bank is opening up a representative office in Copenhagen due to an active tech community and a "friendly" legal and regulatory framework. Unlike Sweden, Denmark doesn't require a license to make loans.
"Denmark has created a much more streamlined environment, so that, coupled with the phenomenal innovation that we've seen on the ground, and our existing Danish lending business, has led us to create a presence there before looking at other markets within the Nordic region," Platts said.
Silicon Valley Bank's clients include half of all venture capital-backed technology and life-science companies in the U.S., as well as 67% of companies that went public last year with VC support. Among its clients in Denmark are Trustpilot A/S, an online review platform that earlier this year raised $55 million to expand.
Platts said the bank, which also has offices in Ireland, Israel and Germany, will draw on its U.S. network and its U.K. balance sheet to offer Danish companies a variety of lending tools, including venture debt, acquisition financing and loans tied to initial public offerings.